Northern Albania

Posted in: English Aug 20 2015

There are some more mountains. Right from the start in Albania i realized that. I didn’t had a specific plan where i should go. My map showed me, that there’s only one town in the nearer area. I needed some money and Bajram Curri appeared to be the only place to get some. At the entrance of the city a men speaked to me in German and told me about Valbona. For the first time in Albania i had a plan where i wanna get to.

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The ride to Valbona in the heat (uphill with 42° C) was a hart bit to cycle. But the surrounding mountains and the crystal clear water from the Valbona river lacked one of the effort. I found a nice campground at the very beginning of the village. It was an excellent and cheap place to stay. Because of that i decided to stay here for two nights. On my day off i explored Valbona and treated myself to a refreshing swim in the river.

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On the campground i met Nadine from France and Janko from Montenegro. Janko is a tour guide for the mountains in Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. He invited me for a diner at the Restaurant. Thank you so much Janko!

My alarm went off the next morning at 3:30 am. I try to avoid the heat. In the morning it’s mostly much colder. Already at 9:00 clock i arrived at the port in Fierzë, where Nadine waited for me. Together we took the ferry over the Koman Lake.

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The line operates between Koman near the Koman Hydroelectric Power Station and Fierzë near the Fierza Hydroelectric Power Station. The line is known for its breath taking views of the mountain gorges, unscheduled stops along the way for serving locals, and the peculiar atmosphere of both locals, foreigners, and even animals being fitted on board up to full capacity. After this impressiv tour we found a campground right at the end of the Lake. Nadine recommendet me to stay at the Lake Shkodra. There’s a nice campground 10 kilometres away from the city. It’s almost 3 months ago since i started my trip and slowly i needed a brake. Immediately i liked the campground and decided to stay there for some few days.

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Shkodra Lake is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula with a surface area that seasonally fluctuates between 370 km2 (140 sq mi) to 530 km2 (200 sq mi). Shkodra Lake itself is located on the western Balkan with approximately two-third (229 km2 (88 sq mi)) of its surface belonging to Montenegro and about one-third (142 km2 (55 sq mi)) to Albania. After 6 days of relaxing i went back into the mountains. The road increased right behind Shkodra. It was hard to cycle but a unique scenic experience. A little out of Peja i discovered a Guesthouse. This Guesthouse is headed by a retired couple. Shortly after me arrived a family from Austria with their caravan. We liked this place so much that we decided to stay for two nights. We spent the next day mostly with swimming in the self- built pool together with many frogs.

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The owners prepared us a delicious dinner. Early in the next morning i left this lovely place. This day should end as one of my hardest i’ve made so far. The road was just going up and down. Behind every slope came another descent. The landscape here is indescribably beautiful. I couldn’t find a campground in Kukes and there was only one option for reaching the border with Kosovo: the highway! The tiredness overran me soon. I wanted to put up my hammock in a small forest next to the highway. Some teens visited me and showed me a safer place in their village. They rejoiced to accommodate a foreign guest. Albania was for me a country with an enormously beautiful landscape. Also the people were very welcoming to me. Shumë falemnderit Shqipëri!

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